District in the northern part of Chūō Ward, Tokyo. The area takes its name from a bridge, the Nihombashi, first built here in 1603. As the starting point for the Tōkaidō and other highways leading out of the shogunal capital, the bridge served as the symbolic center of Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868), and the district flourished as a commercial center. Today it is a major shopping area. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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